2022 Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Finals – West Ongoing
San Juan Capistrano, Calif. – Twenty-three athletes completed the first phase of competition at the 2022 Platinum Performance/USEF Jumping Talent Search Finals – West on Friday, kicking off a weekend of competition designed to showcase young riders with a bright future in the sport.
After a warm-up round during which the participants have 90 seconds to practice the jumps, the competitors have completed the work phase on the flat of the final. Athletes were asked to perform walk collection and extension, leg returns, lead changes, and work at three gaits without stirrups.
Nicole McMillion (Huntington Beach, Calif.) on Campitello 5, a 2007 Hanoverian gelding owned by Highpoint Farm, LLC, currently holds the lead after the flat phase with a score of 90.0. Makenzie Damus (Encino, Calif.) on her own 2012 Oldenburg gelding, Charly Brown 335, is in second place with an 88.0, and Ella Dyson (San Luis Obispo, Calif.) with Cetello, a 2007 Holsteiner gelding owned by Constance and Elisa Broz, is right behind in third with 87.5.
The Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Program follows the principle that form follows function, and that it is important for a rider to have riding basics and a jumping seat position strong in order to become an effective jumper. Talent scouting classes test a rider’s ability to efficiently navigate a jumper-style course while maintaining the classic American style of riding.
On Saturday, athletes will complete the gymnastics phase, which tests competitors on a course that includes grid elements. On Sunday they will return for the show jumping phase in which they will tackle a show jumping type course. Athletes will receive a score for each phase; the gymnastics phase carries a multiplier of 1.5 and the show jumping phase has a multiplier of 2. The total scores from the first three phases are used to determine the top four, who will return for the final phase in which they will swap horses and run the same course on each of the last four horses to determine the final ranking.
This year’s R judge for the finale is Patricia Griffith and Beezie Madden is a guest judge. Madden is one of a long list of Talent Search Program graduates who have found success on the international show jumping stage, which includes Olympic and World Championship athletes Greg Best, Chris Kappler, Meredith Michaels- Beerbaum, Katie Monahan Prudent, McLain Ward and Lauren Hough.
Watch the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Finals – West on the USEF Network.
USEF International High Performance Programs and USEF High Performance Pathway Programs are generously supported by the USET Foundation, USEF’s philanthropic partner. Support for the High Performance Program is also provided by USOPC and USEF sponsors and members.